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How we designed an SAP application for accurate validation of contract data
Putting up contracts is complicated business for the contract management team. The data is compiled from various enterprise applications – SAP and nonSAP. The compiled data is put into Microsoft Excel for attachment to contracts. The data is not fully validated, and it sometimes contains spelling mistakes, incorrect master data and numerical mistakes (fat finger?).
Plus, like all things manual- this uploading, updating, validating and verifying of data is a time consuming process and affects the performance of the overall business.
Need for a fast solution
The data provided by business users may have errors such as spelling mistakes in the product names, order quantities, pack sizes, and sometimes, prices. Business users have to carefully check their data before it is sent to the customer.
What has been tried…
Since this issue of ensuring data accuracy is paramount, the business users have developed certain workarounds and quick checks such as Excel macros to address this. However, these are localized solutions and they can check the data within the excel sheet itself. It is not possible to know if the correct weight of a product is 10gms or 100 gms, unless we query the product management system.
We designed an SAP application which read the data from the Excel file automatically. The validation process is tiered and includes checking the data format, number format, price format and length of the data. We remove repetition by allowing the application to eliminate duplicate data by comparing it with the Excel sheet entries. This ensures that no repeated entries make their way into the final excel.
Spelling errors are also corrected automatically as the SAP application validates the excel data against the Master data stored in the SAP. Boundary values are also checked so that overflow of data can be avoided and length is never exceeded. The application also checks the data for all the mandatory values and any blank space is reported as an error.
The application scans the excel data; the business user is notified about invalid data entries and where they exist in the file so that it can be corrected.
Benefits to the Customers
Data validation is done at the customer application end before it makes its way to the final contract generation. Costly mistakes are avoided by ensuring that all data is perfect across the various financial accounting, product master and pricing data systems.
The solution is cost effective, efficient and automation making lives easier for our customers.